Tap and go or pay with cold hard cash? We’ve found out how Australians pay in 2021.

With Australia’s slow but steady transition into the digital market, long gone is the time where we had to flick open our wallets to pay with cash. Or are they?

Despite the ease of paying with a card and using some form of a digital payment, more than eight in 10 (81.5 per cent) Aussies still carry cash in their wallet, according to a recent survey conducted by Hunter and Bligh.

With more than half of us (59.4 per cent) preferring a debit card as our primary method of payment, 53.1 per cent of Australians surveyed admit that they still carry up to $50 cash in their wallet at any given time. To be used for their next shopping spree or just in case of an emergency, close to three in 10 (27.6 per cent) say that a credit card is their primary payment method followed by 12.1 per cent opting for cash.

Despite still carrying it, paying with a card is a preference over cash for most Australians.

But, as our society becomes more digitalised and our smartphones become our wallet’s replacements, what do Australians use? Physical cards or a digital wallet?

The survey finds that close to two-thirds (66.5 per cent) carry physical cards. Over a quarter (26.8 per cent) of the Australians surveyed use a combination of cards and digital wallet and, surprisingly, just 6.7 per cent use a digital wallet.

When we’re not pulling out cash, when it comes time to paying, more than half (56.1 per cent) of Australians prefer to use a physical debit or credit card in comparison to the 43.9 per cent of us who use a digital wallet – 93.1 per cent primarily using their phone to carry out the digital payment.

So was that cheque, savings or credit? All in all, the survey also showed that whilst we’re out and about, close to six in 10 (58.2 per cent) Australians are annoyed if an establishment only takes cash.

Finally, the time when most Australians used to keep a supply of cash on hand at home seems to be coming to an end; just 41 per cent of us are keeping an emergency stash around. Is it a mistrust of digital alternatives or the banks? Time can only pay the price.

Data received by Hunter and Bligh and conducted by CoreData Research, a global specialist financial services research and strategy consultancy. The survey was conducted in June 2021 and received results from 1010 Australians.
Feature image: Photographed by alicat. Image via Getty Images Signature and Canva.